Major City Insights, Book 1: Uneven recovery across Canadian cities—March 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, February 26, 2021
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Life in cities across the country is on pause. Canadian cities are still attempting to control a second wave of COVID-19. And while all areas and industries are feeling the impact, some are being hit harder than others—especially around labour force and employment, construction and real estate, population growth, retail sales, and travel.

Book 1 focuses on the metropolitan economies of Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau, Quebec City, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg.

Document Highlights

Real GDP growth in Edmonton, Hamilton, and Saskatoon is set to rebound by 6.0 per cent or more this year as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines gradually allows economic activity to pick up.

After being hammered by the pandemic last year, Québec City, Montréal, Toronto, Regina, and Calgary are all forecast to see real GDP bounce back with growth of between 5.1 and 5.9 per cent in 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines and the expected easing of pandemic-related restrictions will support economic recoveries of between 4.4 and 4.9 per cent this year in Vancouver, Ottawa–Gatineau, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Victoria.

Despite the generally positive outlook for economic growth this year, threats from new variants of the virus and extra lockdowns post downward risk to our forecasts.

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